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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Inside out

Well at least the day wasn't a total loss for Steve Pagliuca. The Celtics cinched an important part of their future by signing Rajon Rondo to a multi-year deal.

But if the Globe's Bob Ryan finds the 23-year-old Rondo "inscrutable" what to make of one of the men who signs his paychecks?

I mean, how does defending Mitt Romney, while simultaneously dissing Ted Kennedy and your own media consultant, add value to your campaign to win the Democratic nomination for the right to take Kennedy's seat?

It's all well and good that Pagliuca considers Romney a friend and mentor. But there are very few more toxic names in Massachusetts Democratic politics than the former governor -- the man who seduced and abandoned the Commonwealth, running for president in 2008 (and no doubt again in 2012) by dissing the Bay State.

The link -- and the campaign cash -- was enough to make the true believers who vote in party primaries leery of Pags. But to compound that suspicion by saying Myth was right to complain about a 1994 US Senate ad crafted for Kennedy in a nasty race against Romney is strange strategy.

And to do so when Tad Devine, the creator of that ad, is working for him today, amounts to a self-administered migraine. As the Globe notes, Devine is:
"...now in the awkward position of defending Pagliuca’s business record using the same argument Romney made back then: that it is unfair to single out companies that failed without noting the many successes that led to jobs being created."
Devine will likely collect the checks for the warm-and-fuzzy Pagliuca spots for the remaining six weeks of the campaign. Not much worry beyond that, no matter the initial Western New England College polls showing Pags running a distant second to Martha Coakley.

And while Pagliuca tries to shore up his outsider credentials, Rep. Mike Capuano is playing the inside straight, and comes out smelling relatively clean.

Let's face it -- for better or worse (mainly worse), campaigns come down to cash. Where and how you raise it for the election and where and how you bring it home for your constituents.

Policy positions are fine, but pork is in the eye of the beholder and as we all know one man's (or woman's) earmark is another one's important local project.

Although Capuano may be on the periphery of the bubbling controversy over the friends of John Murtha, he has very clear and strong ties to bringing home the bacon -- particularly for transportation and health and biomedical research.

As the man who once held the seat Capuano is hoping to give up to move up once said "all politics is local." And Kennedy was never hurt by the fact he had the clout to deliver for his constituents.

A much sounder strategy to win a Democratic primary than feeling sorry for Mitt Romney.

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Anonymous Krodamai said...

I can't disagree. Nice post.

November 03, 2009 3:30 PM  

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